Hollifield commits to 50/50 CP split with SBC
    November 10 2010 by Norman Jameson, BR Editor

    North Carolina Baptists’ top administrator declared his commitment to move the state convention to a 50-50 split of Cooperative Program (CP) funds with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) “over a protracted period” in his address to messengers Nov. 8.

    At the same time, he said it could not be done without increased giving from North Carolina Baptist churches.

    “It is imperative that we all understand that a move to increase the SBC portion must be accompanied by an increase in CP support by our churches,” Hollifield said.

    This will mark the sixth year of the past eight that CP gifts from churches have been lower than the previous year. Messengers adopted a 2011 budget the size of the 1999 budget. Yet in 2011, for the sixth consecutive year, the SBC allocation of CP gifts has been increased one-half percent. 

    BSC photo by K Brown

    Milton Hollifield addresses messengers and visitors at the Baptist State Convention annual meeting.

    “If our churches do not increase their support of the Cooperative Program we can’t reach the goal without deep cuts in church planting and partnership ministries that I’m convinced God is calling us to do … ministries that the churches of this state voted to establish and support,” Hollifield said.

    Hollifield pointed out that if churches had maintained their CP giving percentage of 1995, $15 million more would have been available for missions throughout the state and world annually.

    While Hollifield affirmed each church’s autonomy to determine how it will invest mission dollars, including avenues other than the Cooperative Program, he said, “If a congregation wants to have a strong voice in how a convention uses the dollars, they need to be strong givers.”

    His call to dramatically alter the division of Cooperative Program gifts between the Baptist State Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention is evidence that he is “deeply committed to strengthening the partnership between the Baptist State Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.”

    Hollifield’s declaration comes after a year of vocal pushing for such a division by supporters of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force study and report. During a panel at last year’s annual session GCR task force member and Calvary Baptist Church’s pastor from Winston-Salem Al Gilbert called a 50-50 division “a good start.”

    Hollifield said lower gifts in churches and from churches “is just a symptom of a larger problem of church health. When this problem is solved then stewardship will naturally be addressed with our people.”

    If more churches were spiritually healthy, Hollifield said, “we would see them doing things differently,” including seeing members who tithe instead of giving an average of two percent of their income.

    In his annual address, Hollifield said 2010 has been a year both of “difficulty and challenge” and a year of “great celebration.”

    He said challenges included the economy which has negatively affected all but a “few churches,” and a growing diversity that includes “many newcomers (who) bring religious practices that many North Carolina Baptists are not prepared to address.”

    He encouraged his audience not to be distracted by difficulties “or we’ll miss the great and mighty things God is accomplishing through His church.”

    For Hollifield such evidence includes planting 98 churches in 2009; financially sponsoring five ethnic church plants in New York City with a gift of $50,000; and 20 percent growth in baptisms.

    As people push the Baptist State Convention toward a closer identity with the Southern Baptist Convention, Hollifield drew distinctions between the work of each organization. Each has “different and distinct assignments … but we partner with the SBC to accomplish some things that require joint efforts,” he said.

    Lamenting too many Christian’s moral failures, Hollifield committed to “pray, share, and to personally seek to disciple and mentor” more persons in 2011. If others would make such a commitment but are unsure how to do it, he urged them to call the Baptist State Convention and staff would come help.

    He said he is “disturbed at the infighting that continues to paralyze the ministries of so many churches.”

    Such conflict leaves people “wounded and discouraged.” “I do not know about you,” Hollifield said, “but I am committing before you this evening to work to bring peace, and healing, and unity without uniformity to this convention in the hopes that this convention might indeed be a model for the churches.”  
    11/10/2010 2:50:00 AM by Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 7 comments

Tim Rogers
Brother Chris,

According to the following link the 50/50 split was only for a decade in the 1970's. In 1980 you see a marked retention of the CP funds remaining in NC. We increased 17% of the funds remaining in NC. Of course you remember what happened in 1979?


11/16/2010 9:55:33 AM

Davida Olds
Thanks for taking the time to share this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you gain knowledge, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.
11/14/2010 11:29:29 AM

Brent Hobbs
I didn't make it to the Monday night session, but read some of the highlights over twitter and was so glad to hear the vision Hollifield laid out. Several state conventions recently voted to move drastically and immediately to a 50/50 split - a move I'm excited about. But I also understand that is a huge amount of upheaval so I understand the reasoning for drawing it out over a longer period of time.

I'm glad for the 0.5% increase in CP giving over the last few years even though the budget was declining. I hope that as finances level out there will be opportunity to move at a faster pace, maybe 1 or 2% per year to get to the 50/50 goal.

And he's right that in making these moves, those of us who have advocated a better CP distribution need to make sure we are taking action to support the CP even more than we have in the past. We see they are moving in the right direction, so let's reward that by advocating increased CP levels in our churches.
11/10/2010 10:45:13 PM

Chris Byrne
Wasn't it 50/50 originally before those who favored a NC Baptist way moved it to 68/32? It has taken over 20 years to return to our roots.
11/10/2010 10:17:55 PM

Stephen E Loftis
50/50 split? And now it begins in earnest. Before long the split will be more like 60/40 SBC. Then you can kiss BSCNC's autonomy goodbye! It's the plan they've been working on for years!
11/10/2010 2:48:40 PM

"Unity without uniformity?" Good luck with that. No way the New Masters will allow that to happen.
11/10/2010 12:34:13 PM

Bob Moore
50-50 division - "a good start"??? I'd rather wait till I know how the NAMB reinvents itself.
11/10/2010 11:51:20 AM

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